Real Advice from Real Companies: Chicago Company Tour 2011

By Kristina Gonzalez

Our PRSSA chapter made a recent trip to Chicago for company tour. We visited agencies such as Golin Harris, Fleishmann-Hilard, and Ketchum. We also visited non-profits like the Children’s Museum and Shedd Aquarium. Throughout each tour, the professionals who spoke gave advice to help us in regards to applying for internships, interviews, and much more.

Group of University of Iowa PRSSA students visiting at Golin Harris in Chicago, Ill., during the fall company tour

What I learned on company tour will help me greatly on my hopeful quest to landing an internship this coming summer. While the companies differed in name, a lot of their advice did not.

General resume tips:

  • Companies love to see results. As an example, if you worked on a marketing plan at your internship, show them the effect your plan had. Use numbers when applicable.
  • Highlight transferable skills. Apply extra-curricular activities to aspects of the job you are pursuing. For example: if you volunteer for the orientation program at your college, explain how that shows you can lead a team.
  • Get experience in your field. Volunteer and join relevant organizations to stack your resume with real-world experience that will benefit you in your job search.
  • PROOFREAD. Many of the companies we spoke with emphasized that any resume with grammatical errors will instantly be tossed, so proofread, proofread, proofread your work and resume!

General interviews tips:

  • Present yourself in person. Don’t read off your resume, they can read it themselves. Show them who you are, why and how you would be an asset to the company.
  • Make the interview a conversation. The interviewer and interviewee are in the same boat. If it becomes awkward for one, it’s most likely awkward for the other person, and that isn’t a sign of a good fit.
  • Research the company. Do not go into an interview without knowing information about the company. They love to see you put a personal effort in to be aware of what they actually do and have questions prepared.

Above all, be yourself. Companies look for people who fit their company culture. If you cannot get along with your co-workers, why would you want to work there? Take time to invest yourself in the places you apply to.

As well as blogging for PRSSA, Kristina Gonzalez also has her own Tumblr blog account. Check it out here!

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